Louise Hogarth, founder of DO Ubuntu Orphan Bracelet Campaign, credits her mother, Cecilia, for instilling in her a sense of justice and an interest in social and human rights issues.
Hogarth first traveled to South Africa to show her film, The Gift, in a six-week multi-city tour. During that time, she started to notice a lot of children on the street, who appeared to be fending for themselves. After inquiring, she discovered the most serious and lasting consequence of the African AIDS pandemic is its impact on children.
There are currently two million orphans in South Africa, 1.2 million of whom have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Historically, African orphans have been taken in by grandparents, extended family members, friends or neighbors, but the magnitude of the AIDS crisis has simply overwhelmed these traditional safety nets, leaving orphans to fend for themselves. Many live in child-headed households where the eldest raises the younger siblings; others end up living on the streets. Without parents or caregivers to provide for and protect them, orphaned children often suffer from abject poverty, hunger and poor health and are victims of violence or sexual coercion.
Hogarth was moved by the dire straits of these children and was determined to make a film to expose their plight to the world. Her film, Angels in the Dust (hyperlink), centers on the compelling and charismatic founder of the Boikarabelo orphanage, Marion Cloete, and her incredible young charges, orphaned and vulnerable children victims of the AIDS pandemic.
After the making of Angels in the Dust, Hogarth was compelled to DO Ubuntu and create a movement to raise awareness about the plight of orphans around the world. “Ubuntu” comes from the Xhosa word meaning “humanity towards others” and refers to a belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity — “DO unto others as you would have them DO unto you.”
She launched the Orphan Bracelet Campaign to serve as a revenue-generating project that helps women affected by HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by this epidemic. The bracelet provides a vehicle for people to help alleviate some of the misery experienced by children around the world as well as provide income for women in desperate need of support.
The Orphan Bracelet Campaign operates under the auspices of Dream Out Loud Productions (EIN 05-0581165), a Los Angeles based non-profit independent television and film production company that specializes in true stories about people and events focusing on social and human rights issues. Dream Out Loud is dedicated to the creation of media projects that touch hearts, change attitudes and foster positive change.